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Our Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer on Social Security Disability Appeals

Posted on February 8, 2016

If you have been denied your Social Security disability benefits, do not give up – there are other options. Schedule a consultation with your Ohio Social Security disability lawyer to go over what options you may have left and how the experienced professionals can help you. When you receive your denial letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the mail, it will detail how you will be able to appeal the denial of your benefits. The following information provided by your Social Security disability lawyers in Ohio will discuss the process of appealing the denial decision and what steps you will need to take to attempt to get your case approved so you can start receiving your disability benefits. If you have any further questions after reviewing the information, contact your Ohio Social Security disability lawyer to schedule for your consultation.

Request for a Reconsideration

A request for a reconsideration is the first step in appealing your disability claim denial. You can request that a continuing disability review (CDR) be done after you have been denied. If your initial application for disability benefits has been denied, a request for reconsideration is your first step in appealing the decision. You can contact your local SSA office to ask how to begin the process if you are unsure where to begin. A reconsideration means that your claim will go through another complete review. A medical examiner and consultant, who were not part of the first review, will review your case together. If you have been receiving benefits, your case will go through a periodic re-examining. It is possible that the SSA could end your benefits if they determine that your condition has improved and you are now able to work, or that you have not cooperated in the CDR process. If this has happened and you want to appeal the decision, your claim will go through a reconsideration with the Disability Determination Services (DDS). It will be reviewed by a medical examiner who has never worked on your case before. It may be approved through this process. If it is not, then the next step is for your case to go to a hearing in front of a disability hearing officer. They will hear your case and make a decision. If they deny your benefits, then the next step is a hearing in front of an ALJ. Be advised that depending on the state you are in, you may be able to skip this first step and go directly to the appeals hearing. Check with your Social Security disability lawyer to find out what the laws are in your state before skipping the request for reconsideration.

Appeals Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

If the request for reconsideration that you submitted is denied, then the next step in your appeals process is to have a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In order to have a hearing, you must request one within 60 days of your initial denial letter. An ALJ is actually an attorney who is an employee of the SSA. They are part of the Division of the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. It is their responsibility to hear cases that have been initially denied, then determine if those decisions should be upheld or overturned depending on a case-to-case basis. Statistics show that an average of 65% of disability denial cases that reach an ALJ have a chance of being overturned. However, your chances of your appeal being won are even higher if you have an experienced attorney by your side during your hearing.

Appeals Council

While the majority of cases that go through a hearing and an ALJ are won, there are still a percentage that are not. Those cases that are not overturned in the hearing process can then request that an Appeals Council hear their disability claim case. The Appeals Council only selects cases to hear at random, and uses their discretion to grant, deny, or reject any requests for a review. It is unlikely that your case will find success through an Appeals Council. The Appeals Council may dismiss your case unless they find one of the following:

  • an error in the law by an SSA representative
  • the decision made by the ALJ was not supported by evidence
  • the used of discretion was abused
  • procedural issues were misused

Before an Appeals Council will grant your case a review, they will look to see if there was a flaw in the decision that the ALJ made in the hearing. The chances of winning a case through the Appeals Council is around 2%-3%.

Federal Court

If you have been denied through all the other appeals processes, the last step that you can go through is the Federal court. You will need to have an experienced attorney that can help you file a lawsuit in the United States district court. A Federal judge will hear your case and make their decision without a jury. They will be able to overturn any decision that any other legal representative before them has made, including an ALJ. About a third of the time Federal judges will rule in favor of the claimant and grant them disability benefits, overturning the decision of the SSA. The reason behind this is typically due to the SSA not giving enough credit to the claimant’s doctor’s medical opinion, did not consider the pain symptoms, or did not ask for other medical opinions. Even though your odds may be in your favor for winning a Federal case, they will cost you time and money. It will typically take a claimant years of the appeals process before they can get to the Federal court level.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer

The appeals process can be time-consuming, complex, and confusing. That is why you need an Ohio Social Security disability lawyer that has experience in handling cases similar to yours. Call the experienced professionals in your area today from the John Paul Oreh Law Office at (216) 896-0935. Our office knows the Social Security disability lawyers in Ohio who have the skills, knowledge, and dedication to help you fight to get the best possible outcome in your disability claim case. Call today to schedule your consultation!

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